Research Institute Launches Economic Development Clearinghouse

MIDLAND-The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is marking the seven-year anniversary of the creation of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA)-a state "jobs" program, by launching a new web page that challenges many of the assumptions behind government-sponsored "economic development."

The page, located at, features all the research on economic development issues produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

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"Michigan's state government still believes it can unfairly dispense tax breaks and other economic favors to some businesses while denying them to others-and boost net economic growth," says Michael LaFaive, an economist with the Mackinac Center. "This is why we created this new web page-to inform Michigan citizens about what such government intervention really accomplishes: an arbitrary redistribution of income that may actually retard economic growth, and a business community that expects favors from the government."

The new web site contains numerous commentaries by Mackinac Center scholars, addressing issues such as MEGA's job creation claims, so-called "Renaissance Zones" and the inadvisability of government funding for professional sports teams. The site even offers readers a new baseball statistic: the subsidies-to-victories ratio (SVR), which measures how much taxpayers pay per team victory for the latest publicly funded sports stadium.

"We want the site to become a resource for people interested in sound economic development policy in Michigan. It is a quick, one-stop research tool for policy makers and citizens looking for information that is not found in the state's self-aggrandizing pronouncements," said LaFaive.